A mother black bear was illegally shot in a Keremeos vineyard between the evening of Sept. 30 and the morning of Oct. 1. Authorities are seeking any information related to this event, and B.C. Wildlife Federation is offering a reward of up to $2,000 for info that leads to a conviction. (Photo from Unsplash)

Mother bear found dead from gunshot wounds near Keremeos vineyard

B.C. Wildlife Federation offers up to $2,000 reward for info leading to a conviction

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service is investigating the shooting of a mother black bear in a Keremeos vineyard easier this week.

Conservation officer Clayton DeBruin said the sow is believed to have been shot between the evening of Sept. 30 and the morning of Oct. 1. DeBruin said investigators are still working to determine whether the bear was killed in the 700 block of Bypass Road or another location.

“She was a black bear, a light-coloured phased one, that was known to us and known to the community for many months since living in this area. She was shot and killed and basically left to waste,” said DeBruin. “She had two cubs this year and they’re roughly seven or eight months old now.”

DeBruin said there is “no open season for mother bears or a bear in its company, or bears under 2 years of age” and the culprit could be charged with hunting wildlife out of season.

READ MORE: Black bear kills donkey in Revelstoke, put down by RCMP

“Bear cubs normally spend about 18 months with mom, so the likelihood of their survival is not as good as if they’d have their mom to show them where to find food throughout the seasons of the year and how to choose an appropriate den site through the winter,” he said.

“They may survive but it’s obviously not ideal.”

DeBruin said he couldn’t speak to whether the sow was causing problems in the community – such as rummaging through garbage, but did note that the cubs don’t appear to be dependent on human food or waste.

He said conservation officers in the area are currently trying to trap the cubs in order to relocate them to a rescue facility for the winter, but so far have been unsuccessful.

“Because they are at-risk, ideally they could be caught and sent to an orphaned bear rearing facility where they would be held throughout the winter and fed to the appropriate weight, then released into the wild in the spring,” he said.

“We have a rehab facility in the north Interior that is willing to take them. We are actively trying to trap them, however, because they are not food-conditioned or garbage-conditioned, they are much harder to capture in a trap than a bear that is used to walking into human habituated areas, seeking out smelly food.

“These are just normal bears, so we’re still waiting to capture them since they’ve been sighted in the area after the mother was brought to our attention.”

In addition to hunting out of season, the person behind the bear’s death could also be charged with ailure to retrieve game under the Wildlife Act.

These offences are ticket-able, but DeBruin said depending on the circumstance, the B.C. Conservation Officer Service can take the individual to court to request a higher fine.

READ MORE: ‘Garbage-fed bears are dead bears’ – Penticton conservation officer

The B.C. Wildlife Federation has offered up to a $2,000 reward for any information leading to the conviction of these types of offences. DeBruin said the best way to reach out is to call the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.

Anyone with information can choose to remain anonymous.

“We’re hopeful we will track down those responsible. The Bypass Road is a well-travelled road and it’s likely that somebody may have been travelling by at the time of the offence and may have seen something or noticed something out of place, like a vehicle or person,” he added.

“Or maybe they noticed the mother bear lying in the vineyard and can give us additional information on that. Any little tip can help us.”

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
JordynThomson 
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

OBITUARY: Sherrold Haddad brought giant Canadian flag to Surrey car dealership, built community

‘An amazing man, business person and community leader,’ friend Bruce Hayne posted to Facebook

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock, Delta and beyond

MARCH 28: Delta council passes bylaw to fine people who don’t socially distance

White Rock council members stand by decision to close pier

Minimal push-back over closure to minimize chance of spreading COVID-19 virus

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Blue ribbons popping up along streets in Abbotsford in praise of B.C. healthcare workers

Healthcare worker’s family starts local trend of morale support

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

Most Read